How to Do a Farmer’s Carry: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

    - Advertisement -

    The farmer’s carry is a classic strength exercise that originated from farmers carrying heavy loads. It has since become a popular movement in strength training and functional fitness programs. The exercise involves picking up a heavy weight in each hand and walking for a certain distance or time. It offers numerous benefits, including increased grip strength, core stability, and overall body strength. In this article, we will guide you through the proper form of a farmer’s carry, explore different variations, and highlight common mistakes to avoid.

    Proper form

    - Advertisement -

    To perform a farmer’s carry with proper form, follow these steps:

    1. Start by choosing appropriate weights:

    Begin with moderate weights that challenge your strength but still allow you to maintain good form. Dumbbells or kettlebells are commonly used for this exercise.

    - Advertisement -

    2. Stand tall and engage your core:

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, maintain a neutral spine, and engage your core muscles. This will provide a stable foundation for the exercise.

    3. Pick up the weights:

    Squat down, keeping your back straight, and grip the weights firmly. Your palms should be facing your thighs, and your arms should be fully extended.

    - Advertisement -

    4. Lift the weights:

    Drive through your legs and heels while maintaining a strong core, and lift the weights off the ground. Keep your chest up, and shoulders back, and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.

    5. Walk with a purpose:

    Start walking slowly with small and controlled steps. Maintain an upright posture and avoid excessive swinging or leaning to either side. Focus on keeping the weights stable and close to your body.

    6. Maintain proper breathing:

    Breathe deeply and rhythmically throughout the exercise. Avoid holding your breath, as it can cause unnecessary tension and compromise your form.

    7. Keep a steady pace:

    Walk for a predetermined distance or time, maintaining a consistent and controlled pace. Gradually increase the intensity and distance as you become more comfortable and stronger.


    The farmer’s carry can be modified to add variety and target different muscle groups. Here are three common variations:

    1. Uneven Farmer’s Carry:

    Hold a heavier weight in one hand and a lighter weight in the other. This variation challenges your core stability and grip strength, as well as improves muscular imbalances.

    2. Suitcase Carry:

    Hold a single weight on one side of your body, like carrying a suitcase. This variation places more emphasis on the obliques, as they work to prevent lateral bending.

    3. Overhead Carry:

    Instead of holding the weights by your sides, press them overhead with your arms fully extended. This variation adds an extra challenge to your shoulder stability and upper body strength.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid

    To maximize the benefits of the farmer’s carry and prevent injury, avoid the following common mistakes:

    1. Rounded back:

    Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Avoid rounding your back or allowing your shoulders to slump forward. This ensures proper alignment and reduces the risk of strain on your lower back.

    2. Excessive swinging:

    Keep the weights stable and avoid excessive swinging or twisting of your torso. Maintain control over your movements to engage the targeted muscles effectively.

    3. Overstriding:

    Take small, controlled steps to maintain balance and stability. Overstriding can lead to a loss of control and compromise the exercise’s effectiveness.

    4. Neglecting grip strength:

    The farmer’s carry is an excellent exercise to develop grip strength. Avoid relying solely on your fingers to hold the weights. Instead, engage your entire hand and forearm muscles to improve your grip over time.

    5. Holding the breath:

    Remember to breathe rhythmically throughout the exercise. Holding your breath can increase blood pressure and reduce oxygen supply to your muscles.


    The farmer’s carry is a versatile exercise that can be performed by individuals of various fitness levels. By mastering the proper form, exploring different variations, and avoiding common mistakes, you can unlock the full benefits of this exercise. Whether you are looking to improve grip strength, build overall body strength, or enhance functional fitness, the farmer’s carry is an effective addition to your training routine. Start with lighter weights and gradually progress as your strength increases. Incorporate the farmer’s carry into your workouts and experience the transformative effects it can have on your strength and stability.

    - Advertisement -

    Latest articles

    Related articles